Letter to the Editor

Letter: Thanksgiving meal was successful

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Dear Editors:

I am feeling excited about this year’s meal. Why? Because with the COVID-19 virus, we had to completely redo how we executed the meal. No walk-rounds, no phone calls, no deliveries all over town — a whole new ballgame!

We did it! We served 680 meals with very few snafus wearing our masks and gloves and trying hard to practice social distancing. Volunteers were sparse, but we still got the job done. …

Thanks to Larry Boyer and Gabbie Hodgkiss who came up with the plan to eliminate people coming in the building and instead take the meals to the cards. Gabbie’s son, Caleb, routed the cars to the portico where orders were taken, then Vickie Wilson, Anne Quick and Larry Boyer boxed or sacked meals and took them directly to the cars with little or no contact. Brilliant!

The kitchen crew, Eric Stevens, Jimmy Draper and the dishwasher, Chris Draper, kept things rolling right along, including keeping the mashed potatoes filled. We still need to figure out when to stop opening cans and filling pans. That’s always been a problem, but we’ll keep working on it.

Without help from local organizations and churches in the Sikeston community, this meal wouldn’t be possible. The American Legion and Food Giant furnish the turkeys. Lambert’s, Jay’s and Burch Foods donate rolls. The Christian Academy and YMCA have canned food drives. Individuals and organizations in the community donate gift cards or money to help purchase supplies, the VFW donates the use of their building. First Baptist Church allows us the use of big pots and cake pans and their ovens to bake part of the dressing. A special thanks to Shady Acres Church for all you do and this year to the ladies of Miner Baptist Church for their generous donation. May God heap blessings on all of you.

The volunteers are awesome! They showed up on Tuesday to help break bread, mix it with corn bread, chop celery and onions, de-bone 30 turkeys. A few came back on Wednesday to de-bone more turkeys, cut up hams, help make the dressing, wash dishes, mop up messes. Amy Nantz and daughters Ashley and Erin were the lucky ones to mix dressing again this year. Amy’s husband, John, came and helped by running errands to pick up needed supplies. … Also our thanks to Chester Kordahl who cooked the turkeys for us and manages to get them to the VFW. The spirit of giving is alive in Sikeston and it includes the youth. That is a blessing in itself.

Thanks to Lisa Hicks who takes care of cutting and boxing the desserts. She also helped in other areas. Some of you may know her from the OAKS Center. Just want her to know she is appreciated for all she does. This year she had a friend, Tim Greenway, help her. A special thanks to Lydia Hodgkiss and Tamara Draper who delivered Morehouse, Kathy Harrington who delivered Haywood City and to Pam Sloan for taking care of Wendell Apartments. They have been with this ministry for years.

The turkeys were smaller this year so a special thanks goes out to Lisa Engle who donated six more turkeys which we cooked on Wednesday. Without those turkeys, we wouldn’t have had enough. … Bless you, Lisa.

This community always steps up to the plate and answers the call, fills the need. Each of us is here for a reason. We impact each other’s lives in some way, no matter how small. I am so glad to be able to still be a part of this mission, to be able to carry on this endeavor, to be able to share the blessings, to impact people in ways we may never be aware of. …

To all of you who volunteered or gave donations… thank you! You’re the best. You stay dedicated to his mission year after year. God bless each and every one of you who helped in any way. You are what makes the meal a success every year, regardless of how many meals are served.

Once again it was a great Thanksgiving celebration feast.

See you next year.

Marlene Stevens, coordinator

Sikeston Community

Thanksgiving Dinner